CHICAGO — Consumers are losing interest in reading nutrition facts labels, according to The NPD Group.
“If there is one clear message that consumers are trying to send, it’s that the label has grown tired and uninteresting,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD. “All good marketers want to keep their packaging contemporary, and that should include the nutrition facts information.”
The Nutrition Facts Panel was added to packaging in 1994 after the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. After the law was passed in 1990, 65% of consumers completely or mostly agreed with the statement that they frequently check labels to determine whether the foods they buy contain anything they are trying to avoid. This number dropped to 60% as the labels began appearing in 1994, and since then the percentage of consumers agreeing with this statement has ranged from a high of 61% to a low of 50%.
NPD said the top five items consumers who do read labels are looking for include calories, total fat, sugar, sodium and calories from fat. The Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing guidelines from front-of-pack labeling.